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Saturday, 30 September, 2000, 04:23 GMT 05:23 UK
Minimum wage to increase
Low paid workers
More than one million workers are set to benefit
The national minimum wage will rise by 10p an hour on Sunday to 3.70 but unions are still campaigning for a rate of 5 an hour.

More than one million low-paid workers aged over 21 will benefit from the pay rise.

The rate for workers aged between 18 and 21 increased by 20p to 3.20 in June.

The minimum wage was introduced 17 months ago and the government announced the 10p rise in February this year after fears about its negative effects on the economy proved to be groundless.

The minimum wage was designed to improve the salaries of an estimated 20 million low-paid workers by an average 30%.

Rodney Bickerstaffe
Rodney Bickerstaffe: Delighted with higher rate
Independent evidence supports the assertion that its introduction has not damaged the economy.

The public sector union Unison urged the government to give the higher rate to all workers.

General secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe said: "We have always argued that if someone is doing the job they should be paid the minimum wage regardless of their age."

He said the union was delighted with a government announcement that the minimum wage could be linked to earnings.

"We are pleased to see that the government is listening to our argument that earnings should be taken into account in deciding the rate of the minimum wage," Mr Bickerstaffe said.

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See also:

26 Sep 00 | Business
Blair losing business backing
25 Aug 00 | Business
Unions demand higher minimum wage
15 Feb 00 | Business Basics
Minimum wage in the UK
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